Imagine investing heavily in assembling an elite in-house design team, only to watch your project timelines stretch and budgets bloat, all while the quality of output struggles to meet expectations. This is a reality for many organizations that leap into building an in-house design team without integrating Design Ops into their strategy.

The truth is, you can’t choose to build an in-house design team and not think of Design Ops.

You might seem to move forward, but you’re likely to lose direction quickly.

Design Ops encompasses the processes, tools, and methodologies that allow design to flourish at scale. More than just a support function, DesignOps is about enabling your design team to deliver their best work efficiently and effectively.

It ensures that your projects are delivered on time, within budget, and at the highest quality. Remember, while building an in-house team introduces Design Ops costs, the absence of it can lead to even greater expenses. In such adversity, many turn to specialized outsourcing services not just as a convenience but as a financial imperative.

The Hidden Costs of Design Ops For In-House Design Teams

design ops

Building an in-house design team presents a unique set of challenges, many of which revolve around the efficient operation of Design Ops. While the allure of having a dedicated team is undeniable, the reality is that without a strategic approach to Design Ops, organizations often find themselves facing unexpected hurdles and costs. Here’s why even the most well-intentioned in-house teams can struggle:

1. Silos Within Teams

In many organizations, design, development, and product management operate in silos, a structure that inherently limits collaboration and communication. This siloed approach can lead to misaligned goals, redundant work, and a slower time-to-market, significantly inflating the cost of projects.

2. Pressing Deadlines

With the constant pressure to deliver, in-house teams often find themselves cutting corners in the design process to meet deadlines. This short-term solution not only compromises the quality of the output but can also lead to longer-term costs in revisions, rework, and diminished user satisfaction.

3. Resource Constraints

Despite the desire to staff an in-house team with top talent across the board, budget constraints often mean that not every role can be filled with a top-tier specialist. This limitation affects not just the quality of design but also the efficiency and innovation of the team, leading to higher costs over time due to inefficiencies and the potential need for external consultations or interventions.

How Hiring an Outsourcing Agency Solves Design Ops Dilemmas

It’s clear that the cost of building and maintaining an in-house design team extends far beyond salaries and software subscriptions. Without a dedicated focus on effective Design Ops, organizations risk facing delays, budget overruns, and a final product that fails to meet expectations.

Outsourcing design and Design Ops to specialists not only alleviates these challenges but also offers a cost-effective solution that enables organizations to focus on their core competencies while leveraging expert support for their design needs. Here’s how it benefits you:

1. Get Expertise at Your Fingertips

Outsourcing to a specialized agency like Koru gives you immediate access to a well-oiled machine—a team with established methods, processes, and an understanding of how to take forward the complexities of design projects efficiently.

Outsourcing allows you to tap into a wealth of experience of industry leaders who have spent decades perfecting their craft. This level of expertise, often out of reach for in-house teams without significant investment, is readily available through outsourcing. This ensures that your design needs are met with the highest standards of excellence and innovation.

2. Start Seeing Results from the get-go

With outsourcing, the collaboration and delivery of tangible results begin from the very outset.

At Koru, for example, clients are not just kept in the loop with daily updates on progress but are also presented with concrete day-to-day outcomes and achievements.

You can expect to start seeing tangible results as early as during the first sprint, illustrating the immediate impact and efficiency of choosing an experienced outsourcing partner.

Furthermore, the real outcomes become evident in 3 to 4 sprints, showcasing the rapid progress achievable. We recently successfully executed a complete overhaul of the UI for a large B2B software in just 3 sprints, with a beta version out in 5 sprints, and on another occasion, developed a fully functional MVP within the same timeframe.

The team at Koru UX Design saw the project through from start to finish of the design phase and continued to provide feedback and support once the product was built by the engineering team.

Liam Mooney, VP of Product, MedBridge

3. Who does what: Get Complete Clarity of Roles

design ops team

In project management, clarity regarding who is responsible for what is pivotal.

While many teams make an effort to define roles at the outset, without regular revisions, these roles can evolve in unexpected ways, leading to confusion and inefficiencies.

This is where outsourcing shines; it inherently provides a structured framework where roles and responsibilities are not just clearly defined from the start but are also maintained and adjusted as needed throughout the project lifecycle.

4. Get the right mix of discovery, user feedback, and ideation cycles

The process of design is neither linear nor a repeatable formula; it’s a complex mix of discovery, user feedback, and ideation cycles. Achieving the right mix and rhythm in these cycles is crucial, yet many organizations find it a constant struggle to do so systematically and continuously.

Outsourcing partners like Koru excel in this area, bringing a structured yet flexible approach that ensures these critical phases of the design process are not only effectively managed but also seamlessly integrated. This approach allows for constant iteration based on real user insights, ensuring the end product is both innovative and user-centric.

5. Cross-Discipline Expertise, Dedicated to Your Project

design ops expertise

Outsourcing your design needs means gaining access to a team with cross-discipline expertise, dedicated entirely to the success of your product. This diversity in expertise ensures that all aspects of your project are covered by specialists in each field, providing a holistic approach to design that can significantly enhance the quality and effectiveness of the final product.

6. Implement efficient QA processes to ensure high fidelity without extensive overheads

The final step of the design process requires a meticulous Design (UI) Quality Assurance (QA) process to ensure:

  • Pixel-perfect implementation
  • Comprehensive hand-off and buy-in from the development team
  • And a specification that details not only functionality but also style specifics

Ensuring a development-perfect design doesn’t have to come with the high overhead costs of an extensive Design QA process. With Koru, precision, and excellence are built into every step, eliminating the need for costly additional reviews.

Our integrated approach combines design and QA from the outset, ensuring that each design element is meticulously crafted and aligned with your vision and technical specifications. This streamlined process not only guarantees the highest quality outcomes but also significantly reduces the time and expense typically associated with design quality assurance.

Say Goodbye to Your Design Ops Headaches Forever

Building an in-house team not only takes considerable time and incurs higher costs but also demands significant effort to mobilize effectively.

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, agility and efficiency are key to staying ahead. This is where Koru steps in, offering a comprehensive solution that transcends the limitations of traditional in-house teams. 

With Koru, you get an entire team of experts ready to hit the ground running from week one. We promise not just productivity from the get-go but tangible results you can see as soon as the second sprint.

We take on the complexities of Design Ops—including training, motivation, and career progression—so you don’t have to. Our domain knowledge extends across various industries, ensuring that your projects benefit from a breadth of insights and stay competitive in an ever-evolving market. Let us handle the intricacies of design and operations while you focus on your core business, driving growth and innovation.

Ready to transform your design process and achieve remarkable results with less effort and more speed? Contact our design specialists today, and let’s start your product design journey to excellence together.